WASHINGTON — For most presidential reelection campaigns the question before voters is, “are you better off now than you were four years ago?” This year the question may end up being, “are you better off now than you were four months ago?”
With more than 177,000 Americans dead as a result of COVID-19 and unemployment still in the double digits, both political parties are grappling with the realities of a nation preparing to hold a presidential election in the midst of a pandemic.
How voters feel about the handling of the crisis may ultimately determine who wins in November.
“I think that Donald Trump has failed our families during his presidency and especially during this pandemic,” says Rep Stephanie Murphy (D – FL 07). “His chaotic presidency has made it really clear that we cannot afford another four years of Trump.”
In their convention, Democrats sought to lay the blame for the response to COVID-19 squarely on Donald Trump’s shoulders, pointing out his weeks of downplaying the virus, contradictory statements, advocacy of unproven cures, and what they called they detachment from reality.
Meanwhile, for Republicans the issue is one of striking a balance between public health and economic policy.
“President Trump is not responsible for this virus,” says Rep. Michael Waltz (R – FL 06). “We are dealing with something that has been devastating around the world, and I think every death has been tragic, but what we cannot do is what Vice President Biden is espousing which is going to a nationwide shutdown.”
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